THURSDAY DEC 16
We had a temple excursion with the youth and our new members. Left our office at 4:00, picked up our sisters and arrived at the temple at 6:15. On our drive we had discussion on exactly what we were going to the temple for and why. After the temple we had dinner and we got home at 11:30. Made for a beautiful longggg day.
There are several now asking for help in getting family names ready. Yeah! I may soon be back into Family History. I asked Danita if she would stand as proxy for the one and only female family member I have ever found on my direct family line whose work had not been done. Danita is so special that it was a joyful and grateful moment for me that she was the beautiful sister to perform this baptism.
SATURDAY DEC 18
We spent time in a hardware store. After the youth at the register checked us out she mentioned our name tags. (So grateful how name tags make the Church visible to the world.) I shared with her how we focus on helping members and clients from the community with employment skills at the ERC and that we don't focus on preaching there. However though, I clearly stated that at all other times we stand as a witness of Jesus Christ in all places and preach His Gospel to all who will listen. She was very receptive and received my business card, the mormon.org card and a pamphlet. I am anxious to go back and see her again. When I spoke with her I felt that I knew her. In the meantime Elder Hoopes was visiting with a gentleman about the same message.
A week ago at Ace Hardware I had the same experience with a man in his late 20's who had just ended a relationship with his girlfriend. A great door opener to discuss family first, then the the Restoration, The Plan of Salvation and The Book of Mormon. It was a long visit. We will go back and visit him again because he was also very receptive and accepted literature.
When ever we meet with someone, if nothing else we leave with them the mormon.org card. When they say they want to research what we have said it is very important to mention that if they google it they will need to be careful because so much on the web is contrary to our true doctrine. If they ever read or hear of something that makes them uncomfortable or if it sounds bad, they can find the true doctrine of the Church on mormon.org. All that is good comes from God and all the doctrine of the Church is good. All members are not perfect because we are progressing at different starting points. The Gospel of Jesus Christ requires a life time of learning to do as we see what Jesus did and endure to the end in righteousness.
We met a woman at the post office who recognized us as missionaries of the Church. Her family is all in Utah and have all married in the temple. She is supportive of the Church and her family but her parents were not active and she did not grow up in the Church. We talked and I gave her the cards and a pamphlet and asked her to learn more and to pray about the restored truth found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We know we won't get back and be able to teach all who we speak with but we know that our visit with them adds to the number of contacts people usually have (about seven contacts) before they decide to listen and learn more about the Church.
SUNDAY DEC 19
On Sunday we visited three Sisters. With one family (where we met with only candle light the week before), I wanted to take a picture but knew it would destroy the spirit of what we were discussing so I didn't touch the camera. The sweet thing was the little 8 yr old son who is so brilliant and continually gave good strong answers to questions. He easily refered back to things the Elders had taught in previous lessons. He amazed us all with his understanding.
The Elder gave the teenage daughter and 8 yr old boy each a Book of Mormon. The daughter read in Moroni 10, and then the little guy as he sat on the floor read for us again Moroni 10:3, 4 & 5 himself. After he read out loud he just sat there while we talked but was intently continuing to silently read in the Book of Mormon. It was an inspiring and beautiful sight.
Elder Hoopes and I personally gave the teenager and her mother wrapped gifts. For the Mom and Daughter we gave each The Strength of Youth booklet. We also gave them The Family Proclamation in a frame and candy etc.
We are truly grateful & cherish all of our mission experiences. We are grateful for faithful members who set a wonderful example for investigators. We know that the prayers of our faithful family for the missionaries and those who are being taught will surely be heard and bring blessing upon the Lord's work.
As missionaries ourselves, we pray for the missionaries
We continually pray for Elder Jonathan Hoopes as he serves his mission in France. We continually fast and pray for our young priesthood holders who are preparing themselves for their missions. Missionaries give the most blessed hard labor that will bring about the most blessed results for THEIR future lives as well as upon those who are baptized into the Church.